Balogna & more

We will be on the east coast of Italy, in Vasto for a weeding this summer, and we are thinking of heading to Balogna. Rick does not cover Balogna so I wanted to hear from anyone who has been there what they thought. We will probably have two or three days in that area. If you have other suggestions for the east coast of Italy I would love to see them as well.
Thanks

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1012 posts

Congratulations Gordon! It is a wonderful and rare event to be invited to a wedding in Italy -- and it's happened twice to us. We attended weddings in the Riccione/Rimini area. The first time, we took our young sons, 12 and 8 years old. Our relatives told us we HAD to take the boys to San Leo and San Marino, and we did and the whole family loved it. I understand Bologna is a favorite of many RS travelers and I hope some of them will chime in.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5775 posts

Try typing "Bologna" in the Search window. (Note the correct spelling.) Good luck.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3353 posts

Vasto is in Abruzzo and you are nowhere close to the Bologna area. You are about 300 miles away from Bologna (almost like Sacto to LA). If you are going to Bologna for other reasons is one thing, but Bologna is in Northern Italy and you will be in Southern Italy, very close to Puglia. You are actually much closer to Naples and Bari than to Bologna. So please take a look at a map (Google will work) and see where Vasto is compared to Bologna. If you are going to Bologna, the city can be easily visited in one full day. The problem is it will take you the good portion of a day to get there. Not too far from Bologna you can visit other cities in Emilia (Parma, Ravenna, Ferrara). But once again you are even getting farther from Vasto. So I'm not sure if you will be interested in the Bologna area once you discover the distance that separates Vasto from it. If you are in the Vasto area and you have only a couple of extra days, I would head further south to Puglia. You are very close to the Gargano peninsula and the Tremiti islands, which are one of the prime coastal spots in the Mediterranean, really gorgeous. In Northern Puglia there is also Castel del Monte to visit. Abruzzo itself offers a lot to see as well. You can do a search on line and you'll find a lot of great places to visit which are much closer to Vasto
I don't know if the website below has an English version, but just click around and you'll see beautiful pictures of places you might like. Abruzzo is rich in history, full of beautiful small towns and one of the regions in Europe with the best natural landscapes and national parks. http://www.viaggioinabruzzo.it/index.htm

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1012 posts

Roberto, we always depend on you for great advice! I had no idea where Vasto was when I replied, but I "assumed" that Vasto would be in the North. I am printing this thread, for myself, because for years I have wanted to go South in Italy, and will research the cities you mention. Because we have family in the North, that is where we usually go. Thank you.

Posted by Gordon
Sacramento
2 posts

Thanks folks. Roberto, we will be slightly closer than Vasto as we will actually head to the other side of the family in Ascoli Piceno for a couple of days. But even if we are an hour north, Bologna is a long drive. Thanks for the tips on the other cities to see along the coast. Part of the group wants to see the Amalfi Coast, however, reading RS books on the area says it's crazy crowded in August and we be there the seond week of August. That is why I was looking for another option, to the north.
We really prefer to go later after the summer rush.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3353 posts

Ascoli is not much closer to Bologna and Emilia. Ascoli is in the Marche region. There are things to see there too (do a quick search online). I'm more familiar with Ancona area more to the north, which is nice (with the Conero coast), but near Ascoli you have the National Park of the Monti Sibillini. Across the Apennines you are in Umbria. You can drive to Spoleto from Ascoli in less than 2 hours. Assisi, Spello aren't much farther. You should do a search on the regions you are in, instead of driving so far, since you only have a couple of days. Italy is a treasure everywhere. Unfortunately in the US travel writers only market the same areas, with the result that most Americans think those are the only nice things to see. I can tell you that before Rick Steves started putting the Cinque Terre on his books, there were zero Americans in the Cinque Terre. I remember in the 70's and 80's there were very few Americans there, now it's like going to Sausalito. So take advantage of visiting those great undiscovered regions where you will be, like Abruzzo and the Marche (undiscovered by Americans, because there are plenty of Germans everywhere) before Rick Steves finds out about it and ruins the whole place.